If you have ever lain down on a blanket, eyes taking in the dome of the night sky above, then you are familiar with the sensation of wonder and peace that the cosmos brings.
In her bold new book Feminine Genius, LiYana Silver compares the cycles in our bodies with the four seasons of the natural world. She walks us through a powerful process of syncing with our cycles instead of resisting them. Getting in touch with the rhythms that connect our bodies to the natural world allows us to soften the critical internal voice that demands that we go-go-go all the time.
When it comes to finding relief from anxiety and depression, I have always looked towards exercise. While pushing myself out the door on a bad day isn’t always easy, I know a good sweat will ease the pressure. It’s also why I’ve tried different types of yoga over the years. Don’t get me wrong—I have found yoga to be beneficial, but rarely am I able to be truly mindful in a class. I had chalked up my inability to get “in the zone” to my personality, but when I first slid into a lane at our community center’s indoor pool, I realized mindfulness wasn’t some unattainable goal.
Life brings with it inevitable challenges, yet today it can seem as if those challenges are being presented to us at an increasing rate. How many of us are familiar with feeling overwhelmed physically or mentally, or have the sense that the changes we want for ourselves, our family and our society appear to be out of reach? Challenging conversations and uncomfortable feelings seem to greet us daily with little time to gather our thoughts before responding from a place that can sadly be driven by anxiety or defensiveness.
One of the best ways to nurture a meditation or prayer practice is to create a place within the home that is dedicated solely to this purpose—an altar.
Plants purify the air and cleanse away stress. They create a feeling of sanctuary. A small potted houseplant can also be a lovely reminder to pause throughout your day. In four easy steps, here's how to bring a little mindfulness and beauty into your day.
Whether today is an epic list of to-dos, a routine you know by heart, or the unexpected, it’s always a good time to pause. I call a pause any intentional shift in behavior that allows you the space to experience a mental shift in attitude, thoughts, or emotions that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.
Google “meditation studio” and you’ll likely find one near you – they’re popping up all over the country. Most studios have classes from 15-90 minutes, with some led by teachers and some self-led. Either way – and no matter if you’re a meditation newbie or a seasoned practitioner – you’ll enjoy a quiet break in your busy day.
If you’re like me, you’re not the best at meditation or deep breathing exercises. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to relax and bring mindfulness into your day—which is sorely needed in our fast-paced, always-connected world.
There’s more advice out there about the mechanics of sitting in meditation than you can even imagine. Sit cross-legged in lotus to hold steady... place your hands in your lap in symbolic position to focus the mind... sit with a straight spine so the energy of your body flows more freely.